The Lovers

Harmony in Opposition

"Here, the indicidual emerges.  We cultivate our individuality in a way that feels liberating.  The Lovers card asks us to dive into relationships with curiosity, a sense of wonder and playfulness, loyalty and commitment.  Give yourself to the openness of union, without restraint.  Leap into this energy of surrender.  Intimacy creates understanding.  Understanding creates equality consciousness.  Love and relationships of all kinds can prove to be very valuable in the forming of who we are and how we interact with the external world."
-Michelle Mae Orr, Musician, Writer and Tarot Practitioner, 2018

Arthur Taussig, The Alchemical Visions Tarot, United States, 2019
The artist is also a well-known scholar and lectures on art, music, and the tarot.  This is from his personal and highly detailed deck from the 21st century.

The Lovers are the sixth key associated with the Major Arcana.  The Element of the Lovers is Air and the zodiac affiliation is with Gemini.

Qualities of the Lovers are Self-love, Relationships, and Duality.  Alternate names for the Lovers are Marriage, Eros, and Hermes.  Symbols are A Cherub or Angel, The Tree of Life, The Serpent, and The Apple

In German The Lovers are called Die Liebenden, Der Scheidewed,  andDie Entscheidung.  In French, L'Amoureus.  And in Italian, L'Amore, Gli Amanti, and Gli Innamorati.

SYMBOLOGY

A man and woman stand slightly apart, with mountains beyond, the Sun high.  A cherub or angel, wings spread, hovers above.  The Lovers sometimes appear as three figures, the central character faced with the choice of selecting one or the other.  Many older decks depict the Lovers cavorting in the Garden of Eden, an earthly paradise. The Tree of Life is sometimes shown, bearing 12 fruits, as well as the biblical Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The Lovers have also been shown as a couple entering into marriage, or they identified as Adam and Eve and the angel as Raphael.  The latter is associated with the element of air and the Gemini sign of the zodiac, representing communication and balance, qualities integral to the health of all human relationships. 

ATTRIBUTES

The Lovers signify attraction and desire, the marriage of opposites, the harminous merging of the sacred and the profane.  The guality depicted here indicates the balance of yin and yang, the union of two opposing forces.  The distance between the two figures represents the power of choice and the responsibilities inherent in relationships with others.  The Lovers demand equalibrium and authenticity of emotion.  They ask one to love while letting go, to give without needing to receive, and to empower without dominating.  The Lovers also emphasize the necessity for personal foundation and individual fulfillment before embarking on any union.  Self-love is the only path to mature and elevated connection.  By standing up for inner beliefs, true desires become manifest. 

Osho & Ma Deva Padma, Osho Zen Tarot:  The Transcendental Game of Zen, United States, 1995
Buddha has defined compassion as 'love plus mediation,' to give for the sheer joy of giving ... that is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.